Hawaii Maritime Worker Injury Lawyer
If you are a maritime worker, you know better than most just how dangerous jobs at sea can be. Even if you are not on the water every day, you face risk of injury from dangerous and heavy equipment, slick surfaces, cargo and more. Though you and your co-workers likely take steps to mitigate risks, the truth is that accidents happen frequently.
When a maritime accident happens to you, you can have peace of mind that a workers’ compensation lawyer in Hawaii can help you understand and assert your rights and recoup the compensation you need to recover in full. Contact a maritime injury lawyer at Recovery Law Center.
Who Our Maritime Injury Lawyer Serves
Our Maritime injury lawyer represents both union and non-union workers who hold jobs within the maritime sector. Such individuals include but are not limited to the following:
- Cruise ship and vessel employees
- Ordinary seamen
- Commercial fishermen
- Shipyard and dock workers
- Barge crews
- Tugboat crews
- Dredge workers
- Ferry boat crews
We also work with marine construction crews, including maritime crane and forklift operators and workers for shipbuilding companies.
In addition, our maritime workers’ compensation lawyer represents families of individuals who lost their lives in work-related maritime accidents.
Common Types of Maritime Accidents
Maritime workers’ work environments are riddled with hazards, ranging from heavy equipment to slick surfaces to unstable sea conditions. It is imperative to retain the help of a maritime injury lawyer who has experience handling cases of varying natures.
Our maritime workers’ compensation attorney at Recovery Law Center is a reliable resource and can adeptly guide you through cases involving one or more of the following:
- Cruise ship accidents
- Catamaran, tour boat and diving boat passenger injuries
- Port facility accidents
- Vessel collisions
- Longshore worker injuries
- Falling cargo or objects
- Jones Act claims
- Unseaworthiness claims
- Vessel or ship negligence
- Failure to pay maintenance and cure benefits
We handle marine construction accidents and injuries from forklifts, cranes and other heavy equipment and dangerous machinery, as well as from inadequate equipment or defective products.
If you or a loved one was in an accident that involved one or more of the above, know that you do have rights. A skilled maritime workers’ compensation lawyer in Hawaii can inform you of those rights and advise you on what you need to do to assert them.
How Maritime Accident Cases Differ From Standard Workplace Accidents
Maritime work accident cases differ from accidents that occur in traditional work settings in that the laws that govern them are different. State and federal workers’ compensation laws do not apply to maritime workers, for jurisdictional reasons. To protect injured maritime workers’ rights, the industry had to establish laws of its own.
Making maritime accident cases even more complex is the fact that most of these laws are not codified. This means few actual laws or statutes exist to protect maritime workers. Rather, the industry relies heavily on common law and case law to make legal decisions.
The maritime industry’s established laws are as follows:
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is one of the few codified maritime laws and is part of the Maritime Marine Act of 1920. Per this code, seamen who suffer damages because of work-related injuries have the right to claim damages based on the total value of their losses. This act is important as, generally speaking, injuries that occur offshore do not qualify for individual state workers’ compensation coverage.
Death on the High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas Act is in place to ensure bereaved family members can recover compensation following the untimely death of a loved one that was the result of an incident onboard an ocean-sailing ship. Maritime workers generally do not qualify for DOHSA compensation. Instead, the act is in place to protect passengers, volunteers and other persons who do not qualify for the Jones Act.
Like the Jones Act, DOHSA claims require parties to prove or disprove negligence. If you wish to file a claim under DOSHA, be prepared to show that the boat operator, owner or a third party caused the accident in some way.
Maintenance and Cure
Maintenance and cure is a no-fault system that guarantees sick or injured maritime workers certain benefits while they cannot work full-time. Those benefits should cover the costs of the following:
- Medical care
- Room and board
- Regular expenses
Unlike the Jones Act or DOHSA, you do not need to prove negligence to recover maintenance and cure benefits.
If you qualify for the Jones Act, and if you believe your injuries are the result of a dangerous condition onboard the vessel, you may be able to file a claim under the Doctrine of Unseaworthiness. Under this doctrine, you can hold the vessel’s owner personally accountable for your injuries so long as you can prove that his or her negligence led to the condition that caused your injury.
When To Contact a Hawaii Maritime Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one works onboard a vessel or within the maritime industry, and if you, he or she sustained an injury while on the job, know that maritime laws entitle you to compensation. Given the complex nature of maritime cases, however, asserting your rights to compensation may prove difficult alone. For the help you need navigating what is bound to be a nuanced legal situation, you can schedule a free consultation today with our Hawaii maritime injury lawyer at Recovery Law Center.
Maritime Injury FAQs
What types of damages are available under the Jones Act?
Under the Jones Act, you may claim damages for past, future and present medical expenses; lost wages; loss of earning potential; and past, future and present pain, suffering and emotional duress.
Is the Jones Act a no-fault system?
Unfortunately, the Jones Act is a fault-based system. What this means is that you must establish that your injuries and losses are the result of either your employer’s negligence or the negligence of a co-worker.
How much can I receive in maintenance and cure?
Common law dictates that injured seamen must receive enough maintenance to cover the cost of their typical living expenses. Such expenses include rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc. Common law established that cure must cover the cost of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses.